Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Events for the Week of September 29…

Don’t miss any of the exciting events going on at the library during the week…
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/1) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Fun with Tablets program on Thursday (10/2) at 4:00
  • Computadoras para Principiantes also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/3) at 3:30
  • STAR Reader on Saturday (10/4) at 2:00
  • Tap Guided Meditation Seminar (Escape the sirens of daily life) also on Saturday at 3:00 part of The L.A. Odyssey Project.
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Here is the complete 12/15/1919 issue of the Golden West Magazine (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520676.pdf).  This particular issue is devoted to Highland Park and includes a number of articles on the region.  It even has a poem in praise of the Arroyo Seco and a photo of the first library.  Really retro advertising included.  Check it out.

Friday, September 26, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

The question was what does the aum measure?  The aum is a measure of liquid.  One aum equals 120 quarts or 60 magnums.  As the later number suggests, the aum is used in the measure of wine.

The question (& answer) were found on p. 118 of For Good Measure by William D. Johnstone.  The book was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1975…. Old but still interesting.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Furies

Book Jacket for: The furiesIn The Furies by Mark Alpert we are given the premise that witches are real.  Not in the sense of old women creating spells, gathering in covens but in the sense that there was a real set of individuals who really were different behind all the witch hunts of the past.  In the book there is a family with an x-linked gene that allows female carriers to live, barring accident, essentially forever.  These women, with such long lives, develop science & steer their communities in the early years of mankind and fall prey to hysteria about differences as time moves on.  We find them in this book completely isolated.  Living in a cave in Michigan and interacting only rarely with the outside world.  There has been a civil disruption since the men of the family (deprived of x-linked longevity) want a serum developed to give them what their sisters & mothers have.  The book then, is essentially a story of this (very violent) conflict through the eyes of an outsider who stumbled into the whole mess somewhat against his will. 


The book is a fairly straightforward, kind of violent, thriller, with lots of death for the very old.  The author spoiled it for me with his endnote so I can’t give it a hearty endorsement, however, the book is fine if you like a shoot-em-up thriller.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Library Events in October…

(Mark your calendars accordingly)

The branch has a number of interesting events planned in October.  To begin with we are participating in The L.A. Odyssey Project (visit the Library’s Foundations website for all the details http://lfla.org/odyssey/).  There are also Halloween-esque things and exciting children’s programs.  Let me take a minute and give you a run down on all events for the entire month so you could plan ahead.  Let’s start with the non-repeating events:

- - - - - - - - - - 
10/4 @ 3:00
An Odyssey of the Mind…Tap Imagery Workshop
Come and take an odyssey of the mind with hypnotherapist Frances O'Brien in which you'll learn to use an all-natural yet very effective means for dealing with life's difficulties.  Tap Imagery is a simple system of gently tapping on the body's meridian endpoints in order to clear blockages and restore yourself to balance.  Join us on this journey!  You'll return home feeling refreshed and renewed. (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/7 @ 5:30
Odyssey Themed Movie
Join us for a film whose plot was taken from Homer’s classic Odyssey.  See how many plot point similarities you can identify.  Call branch for specifics. (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/9 @ 5:00
Write Your Name in Mayan Hieroglyphs
Join us for an introduction to the Mayan writing system of hieroglyphs. Learn to write your name in Mayan hieroglyphs! For children ages 8 and up

10/9 @ 6:00
Danza Azteca Xochipilli
Join us for an exciting, free Latino Heritage Month performance with Danza Azteca Xochipilli. They will celebrate the ancient traditions of the Aztecs with colorful dance, full indigenous costumes, and authentic instruments.

10/11 @ 3:00
A Space Odyssey with Dr. Steven L. Cornford
Join us for a tour of space and the world around us with Dr. Steven L. Cornford, Senior Engineer, System Modeling and Analysis Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. Questions are welcomed so bring yours with you. (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/14 @ 4:00
Cupcake Decorating
Teens… come create the most magnificent cupcake possible… then eat it.

10/16 @ 4:00
Art with the Odyssey
How do the stories from the Odyssey inspire you artistically? Come and make Odyssey themed jewelry, ornaments and whatever else you can dream up in the shrinky-dink medium. (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/18 @ 10:30
USC Gluck Kaleidoscope Trio
Join us to meet and hear the wonderful USC Thornton Gluck Fellows as they perform a concert on clarinet, violin, and guitar.  Everyone is welcome.

10/19 @ 2:00
Odyssey Lecture by Damian Stocking
Damian Stocking, Classics Professor at Occidental College (he wrote his dissertation on Homer) will speak on the meaning of the adventures in the Odyssey as they relate to the rest of the book.  (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/21 @ 5:30
Odyssey Themed Movie 
Join us for a film that embraces the concept of an Odyssey.  Call branch for specifics.  (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/25 @ 3:00
Arroyo Book Group Discussion
Join us for a lively discussion of Homer’s Odyssey.  (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)

10/28 @ 4:00
Skull Decorating
Teens… What can you do to a sugar skull to make it a true marvel? Come and show us all.

10/29 from 6:00 to 7:45
Another Space Odyssey…Telescope Night with the Sidewalk Astronomers
Join us for Telescope Night with the Sidewalk Astronomers tonight and take a space odyssey.  Explore the night sky with a telescope & bring your questions about the moon, planets, and constellations.  (Part of the L.A. Odyssey Project)


- - - - - - - - - -

Each month the library also has a number of ongoing classes & events.  They are:

Little Ones’ Storytime - - - Wednesdays at 10:30
Little Ones’ 3 and under & their grownups are invited to join us for stories, music, & games.

STAR Volunteer Readers - - - Available on Wednesdays at 3:00 on Saturdays at 2:00
STAR readers present the fun of storytelling and reading to children one-on-one or in small groups. Kids earn a free book to keep after 3 visits.

Fun With Tablets - - - Thursdays at 4:00
People of all ages are invited to join us as we explore tablet computers by accomplishing an interesting task.  If you have a project in mind suggest it & we might give it a try.

Drop in Computer Lab - - - Fridays at 3:30
Bring your questions about computers, tablets, eReaders, or other electronic devices.  We will do our best to help you figure out answers. 

- - - - - - - - - -

Finally, we have computer classes.  These are formal, free 1-hour sessions.  Note: if the class title is in Spanish then the class is conducted in Spanish.  This month we have:

  • Computadoras para Principiantes on 10/2 at 6:30
  • Computer Basics on 10/9 at 6:30
  • Como Utilizar la Internet on 10/16 at 6:30
  • Spreadsheet Basics on 10/18 at 2:00
  • Correo Electronico Para Principiantes on 10/23 at 6:30
  • Introduction to Word Processing on 10/29 at 12:00
  • Computadoras para Principantes on 10/30 at 6:30

Please do not hesitate to call the library at 323-255-0537 if you have any questions or would like more information.  Remember that you can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Virtual Unreality

Book Jacket for: Virtual unreality : just because the Internet told you, how do you know it's true?In Virtual Unreality Charles Seife takes a serious look at how the nature of information has changed in the digital age.  This book is full of things that appeal to the heart of a librarian and should be in everyone’s general toolkit as they attempt to make their way in a digital world.  Seife addresses issues as diverse as the question of “authority”, fake people, copyright, information scarcity, scams, noise to signal ratio in our data, and more. 

The only problem I had with this book was that occasionally the author would introduce a topic and then go in a completely unexpected (and in my personal opinion crazy) direction with it.  The copyright chapter is the best example of this.  All in all, however, the book raises issues that it is important for people to be aware of so I would recommend that you pick it up.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Events for the Week of September 22…

Don’t miss any of the exciting events going on at the library during the week…
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (9/24) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Fun with Tablets program on Thursday (9/25) at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (9/26) at 3:30
  • STAR Reader on Saturday (9/27) at 2:00
  • Arroyo Book Club discusses The Art of Racing in the Rain on Saturday at 3:00
  • Gardening Workshop on Sunday (9/28) at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Today we have a 19-page booklet called The Arroyo Seco Parkway:  A brief discussion of the proposed Arroyo Seco Parkway and its relation to a Boulevard from the Mountains to the Sea (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520694.pdf).  The Los Angeles Park Commission issued this booklet in February of 1913.   Now by “parkway” these writers don’t mean another word for freeway or highway they literally mean a long stretch of land left wild as a park.  Their proposed park seems to pretty much fall along the path of the Arroyo and the booklet includes photos of various spots along the way as well as maps.  An interesting proposal that seems far different from our current concrete lined arroyo.  Check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hidden Empire

Book Jacket for: Hidden empireHidden Empire is the first of Kevin J. Anderson’s The Saga of the Seven Suns.  In this universe humans live alongside one alien race and know of one no longer extant race.  A pair of archeologists find a tool the Klikiss (the extinct race) used to ignite gas planets into small suns and use the tool on such a planet.  Unfortunately it turns out that a vastly superior race of hydrogen based aliens have colonized such giant gas planets throughout the galaxy so the experiment results in a local genocide and sets up a war between humans & Ildirans and the unsuspected hydrogues.  Much of this book is spent setting up this scenario.  The book has a large number of characters spread across the galaxy and switches viewpoints between them to keep a lot of plot threads going.  The book ends on a cliff hanger with many of the principal characters in peril of one sort or another…. You’re clearly supposed to continue the series.

This is good sf.  The author sets up an interesting universe and populates it with intriguing characters.  Coincidence and implausibility have a heavy hand here but the story is good enough to help you overlook it.  Recommended for those who like series science fiction.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Countdown City

Book Jacket for: Countdown cityBen Winters continues the series he started in The Last Policeman (see earlier entry) with Countdown City.  In this book we are 3 months closer to the effective end of the world by asteroid and things are deteriorating even more.  Former police detective Hank Palace has been asked to find a missing person, his former babysitter’s husband.  He is driven (clearly as a coping mechanism) to find an answer to the mystery and he does succeed in doing so.  The attraction of the book continues to be its dire setting and its depiction of society breaking down in the face of certain doom.  The setting is very depressing, I was actually moved to tears (very rare for me) but it somehow remains compelling.

If you read the first book you’ll want to give this one a try too.  If you didn’t you’ll want to start with the first & then pick this title up once you’ve finished it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: Movie awards : the ultimate, unofficial guide to the Oscars, Golden Globes, critics, guild & Indie honorsThe question was what picture won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1943.  Casablanca is the answer.  Other films in the running include: For Whom The Bell Tolls, Heaven Can Wait, The Human Comedy, In Which We Serve, Madame Curie, The More the Merrier, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Song of Bernadette, and Watch on the Rhine… (how many of the runners-up are you familiar with?)

The question (& answer) were taken from p. 91 of Movie Awards by Tom O’Neil.  The book was published by Perigee Books in 2001.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Events for the Week of September 15…

Don’t miss any of the exciting events going on at the library during the week…
  • Teen Council Meeting on Tuesday (9/16) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (9/17) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Fun with Tablets program on Thursday (9/18) at 4:00
  • Introduction to Library Web Tools & the Internet also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (9/19) at 3:30
  • Latino Heritage Family Storytime on Saturday (9/20) at 11:00
  • STAR Reader also on Saturday at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The LA Odyssey Project

(or everyone reads The Odyssey by Homer)

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles has declared October Odyssey month (find their webpage on the topic here: lfla.org/odyssey/).  A number of branches are exploring the many facets of Homer’s Odyssey throughout the month.  We here at the Arroyo Seco Branch are joining in with an exciting slate of programs.  To begin with The Odyssey is the October Arroyo Book Club pick so be sure to come by the library for a copy of the book you can keep (while supplies last) and join us for the discussion at the end of the month.  We will also be having a local Homer scholar speak about the book so be sure to come to that for some additional insight into The Odyssey.  But enough talk; let me provide you with the complete slate of programming (everybody is welcome at all events):

10/4 @ 3:00
An Odyssey of the Mind…Tap Imagery Workshop
Come and take an odyssey of the mind with hypnotherapist Frances O'Brien in which you'll learn to use an all-natural yet very effective means for dealing with life's difficulties.  Tap Imagery is a simple system of gently tapping on the body's meridian endpoints in order to clear blockages and restore yourself to balance.  Join us on this journey!  You'll return home feeling refreshed and renewed.

10/7 @ 5:30
Odyssey Themed Movie
Join us for a film whose plot was taken from Homer’s classic Odyssey.  See how many plot point similarities you can identify.  Call branch for specifics.

(CANCELLED) -- 10/11 @ 3:00 -- (CANCELLED)
A Space Odyssey with Dr. Steven L. Cornford
Join us for a tour of space and the world around us with Dr. Steven L. Cornford, Senior Engineer, System Modeling and Analysis Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. Questions are welcomed so bring yours with you.

10/16 @ 4:00
Art with the Odyssey
How do the stories from the Odyssey inspire you artistically? Come and make Odyssey themed jewelry, ornaments and whatever else you can dream up in the shrinky-dink medium.

10/19 @ 2:00
Odyssey Lecture by Damian Stocking
Damian Stocking, Classics Professor at Occidental College (he wrote his dissertation on Homer) will speak on the meaning of the adventures in the Odyssey as they relate to the rest of the book.  

10/21 @ 5:30
Odyssey Themed Movie 
Join us for a film that embraces the concept of an Odyssey.  Call branch for specifics.

10/25 @ 3:00
Arroyo Book Group Discussion
Join us for a lively discussion of Homer’s Odyssey.

10/29 from 6:00 to 7:45
Another Space Odyssey…Telescope Night with the Sidewalk Astronomers
Join us for Telescope Night with the Sidewalk Astronomers tonight and take a space odyssey.  Explore the night sky with a telescope & bring your questions about the moon, planets, and constellations.

____________ Links to Relevant Articles/Sites (will be updated)__________________

Blog entry introducing event (http://lfla.org/blog/an-epic-quest-coming-soon-the-l-a-odyssey-project/)

Library Foundation's WebPage on the Project (http://lfla.org/odyssey/)



Friday, September 12, 2014

Websites I like…

Today I’m going to talk about a part of the LAPL website, specifically, the LAPL Photo Collection (http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/photosearch_pageADV.jsp).  Granted this thing does not have a very fancy interface but it allows you access to an ever growing portion of the library’s photo collection.  Included are a large number of photos on every imaginable topic from the dawn of photography forward.  Looking for a photo of an elephant waterskiing? You’ll find it.  Want a pre-1890 photo of Highland Park? It’s here.  The site is incredibly fun to just browse around in & if you’re looking for a cheap way to add some d├ęcor to your place consider printing up some of the images you like on nice paper & framing them (I’ve used this trick to give gifts to people & those gifts have been well received).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Citizen Canine

Book Jacket for: Citizen canine : our evolving relationship with cats and dogsIn Citizen Canine David Grimm tells the story of how the lives of dogs and cats have intertwined with humans.  He traces their origins as wild animals, the early stories of domestication, their ups and downs in relation to humans over the course of history, and their current status as, essentially, family.  He also does a little speculating about what the future may hold for them.  The book was a fascinating read, raising interesting questions about our relationship with our pets and what the future holds.  It is very much an opinion book. The author uses anecdotes & stories rather then data to support his ideas which is good in the sense that it makes it easy for the reader to agree or disagree with the thesis and is bad in the sense that if you agree with him you’ll need to look elsewhere for your supporting evidence as you go out to promulgate the ideas.

Recommended for anyone interested in our relation with our pets.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Today I bring give you a copy of the organizing minutes of the Arroyo Library Club along with a copy of its bylaws.  The meeting in question took place on March 16, 1914…. Very shortly after the library first opened.  Look it over for a snapshot of community participation 100 years ago.  Find the document here: http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/10/520665.pdf.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trivia of the Week...

This is probably an easy question but for this week tell me what picture won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1943?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Events for the Week of September 8…

Don’t miss any of the exciting events going on at the library during the week…
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (9/10) at 10:30
  • Computer Basics Class also on Wednesday at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Fun with Tablets program on Thursday (9/11) at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (9/12) at 3:30
  • STAR Reader on Saturday (9/13) at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: The Oxford dictionary of the worldThe question was what is Gattinara?  To quote directly from the source it is…
A town in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy.  It gives its name to a red wine made near the town from grapes grown in the Nebbiolo vineyards.
The question (& answer) were taken from p. 231 of the Oxford Dictionary of the World edited by David Munro. This book was published by the Oxford University Press in 1996. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

September’s Electronic Resource of the Month….

September’s Electronic Resource of the Month is LearningExpress Library.  LearningExpress Library provides free online interactive practice tests in many areas, career-building tools, help with basic skill refreshment, and more.  If you want to practice for the SAT or the GRE this is your place to go.  If you have to take a job placement test of some kind, look here for practice.  Need help bringing your math up to par? This is a good place to go.  Next time you’re online go visit and see what they have that can help you.

LearningExpress Library is available via the library’s eMedia (http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/e-media) web page or from the Research & Homework section of the library’s website (http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-and-homework#L).  If you are not on a library computer you will need to have your library card handy to access the resource.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Last Policeman

Book Jacket for: The last policemanThe Last Policeman by Ben Winters is a police procedural / mystery that manages to be very interesting & massively depressing.  The depressing part is produced courtesy of the book’s setting --- it is set in a near future Earth that is 6 months away from being struck by an asteroid.  This asteroid is big enough that it will wipe out half the population on impact and leave the survivors with near intractable environmental change, or a slower death.  In this world we have one policeman, Hank Palace, who begins investigating a suicide that he believes is murder.  The investigation takes him far and wide & he does eventually solve the crime.  The reader is left to wonder about what you would do in a similar situation.

A nice straightforward mystery with a very unusual setting, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a police procedural. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pretty in Ink

Book Jacket for: Pretty in inkPretty in Ink by Lindsey J. Palmer is interesting by virtue of its setting.  It tells the tale of a woman’s magazine that has just had its editor-in-chief replaced.  The chapters alternate among a large number of the staff of the magazine as each narrates her experience.  Truthfully there were so many character viewpoints that were all kind of the same that it got tricky keeping track of things from that point of view.  What kept me reading was an interest in the milieu described and a desire to see how things would work out (would the much disliked new editor survive or fail?).

Not a book I would recommend to everyone but for those with an interest in a peek at the publishing world it might prove appealing. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Today I share with you a library flyer.  But not just any library flyer this is one that was produced for an event in January of 1942.  The event was a Victory Book Drive and, in the days before computers, it is quite clearly hand produced… You’ve got to admire the person who created the (quite lovely) illustration.  Take a look at the flyer here: http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520705.pdf